Name: Becca Mann
Where are you from: Homer Glen, Illinois
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I’m the middle child. I have an older sister, Rachel, and a younger sister, Julia. My eldest sister and I are elite athletes in different sports. I’m also home schooled. I lived in Florida for three years and I recently moved to Baltimore. I also spend a lot of time in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. I guess I’m a nomad!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just published my first young adult/children’s fantasy fiction novel at the end of October 2014!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as soon as I learned to write. I absolutely loved putting all the crazy ideas in my head down on paper.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably before I could write!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read all the time. I have read thousands of books. I thought it would be really interesting to look at a book from a creator’s perspective instead of a reader’s!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write in all different styles. I have done some sports blogging. My novel is written creatively from the mindset of various characters. This is my favorite way to write.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I was originally stuck between two titles: The Stolen Dragon and Quanx. I couldn’t make a decision, so I just mashed them together!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Since I am a kid who reads all the time, I wanted to write a book that was pure adventure. I did not concentrate on any specific message. However, everyone who reads it seems to find all sorts of messages in my book!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
It’s all realistic in my mind!
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My life experiences are reflected in all that I do. So yes, there are some experiences that are based on people I know. Interestingly, everyone I know is certain they are in the book and tell me which character they think they are!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
I have read so many books as I have grown up – some over and over again. I have loved and hated books and both types have influenced me greatly. I think the fantasy fiction books influence me most because they are an escape into an adventurous world.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have not met that special author who has taken me under their wing and mentored me yet.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading several books. I have my school novel, the book my mom has highlighted chapters to read from, several books on my kindle, and a few random books I just picked up at a book fair! Then there are books that I am rereading. One of them is The Book Thief which is a phenomenal story thus far! It’s so well-written that I’ve actually started writing down some quotes from it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I just set up a twitter account for my book and it’s helped me get acquainted with almost a hundred new authors. I’ve checked out several of their books and most of them look really interesting!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the second book of my trilogy. I’m also painting an acrylic painting that is 8×8 feet. And I’m training to make the 2016 Olympics in swimming.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Of course, it is my passion!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I might put a key with name pronunciations and I would probably put the Dragontongue key in the back because people who figure it out love to talk about it!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think I was just born with it!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on book two of The Eyes Trilogy. I’ll give you the first chapter title – “Bored to the Point of Kidnapping”!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m generally pretty creative when it comes to writing, but I do get the occasional writer’s block. It usually comes when I’m describing something. As long as I can get through the description, I can make it through.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really love Jennifer Nielson’s books. She does such an amazing job developing her characters and she has a great sense of humor.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel often for swimming and pleasure. I love traveling! I will go anywhere new! I always write wherever I am!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did. Do you know who the dragon is on the cover?
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The publishing was unbelievably difficult. I never expected it to be so hard or to be so involved. I was really naïve. The editing was torture. I read my book so many times I think I memorized it! I caught even more issues after it was printed. Currently, my second edition is being printed to fix the edits I missed. Wow!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I love to write, but I write only for myself. I enjoy it so much. My friends who would read chapters and excerpts really wanted to know the ending. It was so fun. Then the publishing came, which was a lot less enjoyable than the first stage. Now it’s marketing which is definitely interesting, but I would still rather write. I never thought about the fact that people wouldn’t just buy my book and read it! I pictured them falling in love with my story like my friends did. I pictured starting a forum where readers would come to discuss the plot and characters. So I guess I pretty much learned how the publishing world works!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you love and enjoy it. Be prepared for long time frames and headaches when you are ready to publish. But don’t think about that until you are finished with the fun part!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you are like me and like to reread books to find clues and themes that you did not catch initially, this book is for you! It’s written for kids who love adventure and fantasy. I did not write it with a lesson in mind. I wrote it like the books that I love to read! I love to reread books that have hidden clues to events that will occur later in the plot. I think my story does a great job secretly foreshadowing, which is one of my favorite things about it.
Also, all the dragon’s names are in Dragontongue, so the reader will not know what their names technically mean until they can decode the language. Readers will learn more about deciphering it in the second book, but many of my fans have still managed to write to me in Dragontongue! It adds another dimension to my book. People love learning about the little things that are in the first book, like the plural of “mofek” is “mofekj”!
There are other aspects that are pretty cool, too. For example, the story of the various swords used by the tribesfolk are interesting and unique. You learn the story of Kale’s sword, which is meaningful in the book and in the future books. You may not understand it in your first read, though.
Then there are many characters, some of whom don’t have a big part in this story. I remember how, in the first Harry Potter book, Blaise Zabini is mentioned during the Sorting Ceremony, but we don’t see him again until book six. I love that! I love finding all the hidden treats in books. Some of my characters are like Blaise Zabini – they’re introduced in the first book, but you won’t see a real purpose for them until later in the trilogy.
Then there are the tribes and dissecting their qualities. They all have different traditions and purposes. All the people have names specific to their tribes – the people of one tribe all have names that start with V, and the other three tribes have Irish names, Hawaiian names, and English names. The tribes have distinguishing insults and different fashion styles. They hunt and eat food unique to their respective territories.
Of course there is the straight up adventure, honesty, loyalty, deceit and daring. Kale hides the fact she is a girl so she can train as a warrior. This is illegal as girls aren’t expected to go on adventures. She gets stuck in dark and rank tunnels for days, sees people killed, nearly loses an eye, and has a dragon haunt her in her dreams, all while losing her friends and feeling responsible for bringing war to Quanx. She questions her actions and motives which change as the book progresses. She makes loyal friends and scary enemies.
One of my characters, Paka, has a big backstory, but there are too many secrets to highlight Paka here. Readers are saddened by Paka’s story and want to know how she came to be the person she is. I wonder what they will think about Paka in book two!
Sawyer is another character everyone has an opinion about. I am always curious about what readers think of him and whether or not they think he is good by the end. He is certainly a victim of his circumstances and you are hopeful when he makes the right choices and disappointed when he doesn’t.
I could go on and on about everyone in the book. Tyler has been a common favorite. As you learn in the book, he likes to protect his eye color. He is one character who remains true to his goodness. I have been told Brandon, Velvet, Vulia and Winikona are favorites as well!
The eye color distinguishing a person is woven in. It’s speculated that dragon eye color may mean something. Tribes like to match their horses to their eyes. Tyler hides a big secret – his eyes change with what he wears. He was hoping to grow out of it.
I love how my story ends! It is not what the reader hopes for or thinks the outcome will be. I am told there are many twists that are not suspected. I keep getting emails about where people can sign up to get the next novel once it’s completed!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’m not sure what my first book was, but I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was really young, and it had, and still has, a lasting impression on me. I absolutely loved the creativity, the plot, and the characters. It is still one of my favorite books to the day.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
So many things! This question conjures up funny family scenarios where we laugh so hard tears are streaming down our faces. This is a daily occurrence in our household!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Jesus. I like life changing experiences!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Died because she didn’t forward that text message to ten people! I think this sums up my stubborn personality pretty well. Haha!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Swimming. I am a member of the USA National Team.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Les Miserables, Wicked
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I like chocolate, ice cream, steak, blood red, ocean blue, and music from musicals.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would be a Broadway actress, of course!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.theeyestrilogy.com
In a land of tribes where people are defined by the color of their eyes, disaster is ready to strike. With peace barely hanging by a thread, the King of Vitchreonyo makes a risky decision. What he doesn’t know is that his plan may not end how he thinks…. Then Kale, a fisherman’s daughter, is trapped in a tunnel where she makes a shocking discovery. And that discovery may very well lead to the destruction of her entire world. Kale takes up a challenge of following a path forbidden to her in a race to save Quanx from a tribe of conniving dragons. With the help of three uncooperative companions, Kale must steal a dragon egg or die trying. The Stolen Dragon of Quanx is the first novel in The Eyes Trilogy, a compelling new series that will pull you into a fascinating world…and leave you breathlessly waiting for the sequel!
About the Author, Becca Mann
Becca Mann is a 17-year-old fantasy writer who likes chocolate milk, Broadway musicals, and reciting digits of pi. Becca has traveled and written in six of the seven continents. She now lives in Baltimore and is a member of the USA Swimming National Team.
For more information, visit